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In this episode, Carmen interviews Dr. Steven Curley. Dr. Steven is Carmen’s Aikido Sensei. He has been practicing Aikido for 19 years and teaching for 9. He appreciates that Aikido is a spiritual path as well as a martial art. Dr. Steven is also a licensed psychologist who does Jungian and psychodynamic work in his private practice in Mountain View, California. He focuses mainly on growth with his clients, and highly values the process of in person therapy. He is here to share his wisdom about emotions, relationships, seeking help, and overcoming resistance. Please enjoy this episode of Emotions in Harmony.

What you will learn:

• What Aikido is and some of the philosophy behind the practice

• Dr. Steven’s favorite quotes: “Emotions are the weather of the soul.” From Tibetan Buddhism, and “When angry, count to ten. When very angry, swear.” by Mark Twain

• Why it’s a mistake to take our emotions personally

• The importance of being kind to yourself, because you’re not always going to get it right.

• How self-compassion helps in healing the emotions and seeing the bigger picture

• The value in starting with what’s in front of you and having some success with the less scary things before moving onto the scarier stuff down the track.

• That it takes guts to go to therapy, but you’re not the first person to experience the fear • Why you don’t have to be perfect, you just must have the desire to begin.

• What aikido can teach us about how to fall, literally and metaphorically

• Why taking away the fear isn’t the point, and why you should do some other less scary things and then come back and address that bigger fear

• How we can get trapped by not letting go of the emotion once it has served its purpose and mobilized use or given us a message

• That you should check in with your gut and ask, ‘what is true here?’

• How we have been conditioned to think we need to change things outside of ourselves for things to get better, but we always have some choice no matter what is going on outside of us

• How to feel grateful for our resistance

• What aikido can teach us about how to approach resistance.

• Why it’s not about winning and losing, but about ending conflict.

• The importance of giving yourself credit for asking for help

• The value of using your instincts about who you talk to in therapeutic contexts and the importance of reaching out to others in similar circumstances

• The benefits of physical activity and loving kindness meditations as daily habits for emotional health

• How the philosophy of moving towards wholeness and developing all the aspects of self can be the focus for growth

Dr. Steven’s website: http://www.drstevenjcurley.com

Dr. Steven’s suggested resources:

• Deep breaths, rhythmic breathing, and meditation

• Comedy and laughter

“The Tao of Pooh” Benjamin Hoff

“Start Where You Are” Pema Chodron

Post Author: Carmen Román, Ph.D.

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